Rep. Karen Bass moved closer to victory in the still-decided Los Angeles mayoral race on Monday, with an updated tally of results showing Congresswoman leading real estate developer Rick Caruso 52.15% to 47 nearly a week after polls closed. .85% showed.
The result is not yet final and thousands of votes are likely yet to be counted. But in the latest release, Bass continued to build her lead, with pundits saying they were struggling to see a path for Caruso to catch up with the ground Bass had relinquished in results over the past few days. She would be Los Angeles’ first female mayor and only the second Black Angeleno to lead the city.
Bass now has a lead of 29,271 votes, according to the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office. Monday’s update favored Bass, with the congressman garnering 63% of the more than 76,100 newly counted votes. Votes cast in the City of Los Angeles accounted for approximately 40% of the final tranche, which totaled 191,312 votes.
“These results mean Karen Bass is on track to win the mayoralty of Los Angeles,” said Fernando Guerra, director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. “For Caruso to win, he would have to not only reverse this trend, but drastically reverse it and win the same percentage of votes as she recently achieved. There is no indication that he can believe that.”
Although Caruso had a slight lead after election night, Bass has surpassed him in every run of results since then. The Registrar Recorder’s Office estimated on Monday that 655,300 ballots remain to be counted from across the county, with city ballots making up an undetermined number of that total.
Raphael Sonenshein, director of the Pat Brown Center for Public Affairs at Cal State Los Angeles, said the vote totals “seemed to be moving in a kind of irreversible direction” in Bass’ favor.
Paul Mitchell, a Democratic strategist and expert on voting patterns, said Monday that he saw no path to victory for Caruso based on currently available information.
“The information we have now is that these are all late ballots. They are scattered geographically across the city and there is no reason to suggest that the next batch of ballots will be any different than the batch of ballots we just saw.” aside from marginal differences, Mitchell said.
Right now, “closing that gap would represent an astonishing turnaround in these numbers, and there’s not really an intellectually credible reason to suggest why that might happen,” Mitchell said.
“I am honored and grateful for the support we continue to see. I am optimistic and look forward to the next update,” Bass said in a statement. According to her campaign, she was in Washington, D.C. on congressional business on Monday.
Caruso did not immediately comment on the latest tranche of results.
This is a developing story and will be updated.